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Susan Lessack

Q. An employee recently complained about re­ceiving inappropriate email messages and links to porno­graphic websites from some of her co-workers. We would like to review the messages to figure out exactly how large a problem we face. Can we do this?

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Q. Is an employee who injures himself at a ­company-sponsored picnic eligible for workers’ ­compensation?

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Q. I received a call from an employee I recently fired, letting me know she listed me as a reference. She was terminated because of performance. Can I disclose that information to a potential employer?

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Q. Our employee handbook states, “If you do not return a piece of property we will withhold from your final paycheck the cost of replacing that piece of property.” One of our employees recently quit on the spot. My boss wants to almost double the actual replacement cost of the item. Can we do this?

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Q. If our organization offers voluntary employee training, which takes place during lunch, do we have to pay employees for the time spent attending training?

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Q. Recently, one of our delivery drivers was hurt at home and is now unable to drive. Should we offer alternative employment?

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Q. There have been a few reports from co-workers about a new employee smelling of alcohol, although he shows no sign of intoxication. Can we ask him if he has been drinking on duty?

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Q. We try to be a flexible workplace and sometimes get requests from employees to work from home for a day or two during school breaks and so on. I don’t have a problem with this for exempt em­­ployees, but what about hourly ones? How do we track that time?

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Q. We are currently interviewing for an event coordinator position, which would require the person to frequently work well beyond the usual 9-to-5 workweek. Is there a way we can ask about personal situations and make it clear that missing these events because of family obligations would not be tolerated?

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Q. One of our employees claims she has a marriage certificate for herself and her female partner and now wants to put that partner on her insurance plan. Do we have to do that?

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